Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 476, 474 (out of sequence), 477
submitted by Jo Ann Carlson, January 7, 2008

Sept 26, 1900 (hand written)

Rain and Cold Weather interfence with the meeting.

The Mortuary List for Year.
Ex-Senator McNutt’s Address Prepared for the Occasion
Fifty-one deaths have occurred in the past year.

The older settlers, inured as they have been to inclement weather and unfavorable conditions, ought not to have been intimidated by rain, mud and chilly weather, which prevailed this morning and during the forenoon, but that was no doubt the cause of the failure to rally as usual at the fair grounds for the old settler’s annual gathering, which had been postponed from Sept 19th to Sept 26th. The expectation was to have the old settlers assemble this forenoon, but when the Journal editor made a trip on a street car to the fair grounds at 11:30 the only person there was the faithful vice-president. W.S. Fultz, who, on account of the death of J.P. Walton, succeeded to the presidency.

At 1:30 this afternoon, about forty persons had assembled and Vice-President Fultz called them to order and at his request Rev. H.N. Lang, of Wilton, made an appropriate prayer.

The choir not being ready for a promised song, Mr. Fultz read the president’s address. It appears in this issue.

At the conclusion of the address the choir, with Mrs. C. Weed as leader and Mrs. Richards at the organ, sang “Denmark” or “Before Jehovah’s Awful Throne,” followed by “Away Down the Swanee River,” E.F. Richman singing the solo. The whole choir them sang with fine effect “Auld Lange Syne.”

Mrs. C. Weed read a paper on evolution, adapted to the conditions of development of a new country, which was listened to with much interest.

President Fultz’ Address.

Old Settlers of Muscatine county, Ladies and Gentlemen:

    This is the last time in the history of this society that it has been called to order other than its president. The …has been an eventful one in our history. Since our last meeting one year ago the death roll has been the longest of any year since the organization of the society. More prominent old settlers have died than during any year in the past, including our time honored president, Mr. J.P. Walton, and the long-time vice-president, Mr. S.W. Stewart. Both of these men will be missed from our annual meetings: Both of them not only helped to make the pioneer history of this county but both have been instrumental in having that history placed upon record and preserved for future generations. To the pains taking care of President Walton during the many years that he served as president of this society will the historian of the distant future be indebted for the valuable data that he has gathered together and left as a momenta of the pioneer days of this county. While with bowed heads and aching hearts we refer to the loss of our honored president and vice-president and to their noble and disinterested work while among us we also desire to remember the other noble old settlers that have left their foot-prints on the sands of time and passed to the other shore Samuel Sinnett, Joseph Bridgeman, Dr. D. P. Johnson, Mrs. Gilbert, Mrs. Garnos, and others whose names we cannot now mention for want of space and time but their memories are all enshrined in our hearts and will be cherished while life shall last.

    Old Landmarks.

    The last public act of President Walton in connection with this society was the securing of a suitable stone to mark properly the site of the first house erected in the county. When talking this matter over he expressed a desire to secure a pioneer’s log cabin to place in Weed’s Park and he thought that if proper steps were taken than the old log cabin now belonging to Dr Weed could be procured and moved into the park and there preserved so that future generations might see the kind of homes that were occupied by the pioneer settlers of the county. Another project that he had in mind was the proper marking of the spot where Benjamin Nye built the first residence in the county. His ideas was that the old settlers should purchase an acre or two of land embracing the site and that is should be fixed up as a park and that the title should be held by the county. While ready to concur with both of these ideas I am of the opinion that the county should purchase the last named site and fix it up and keep it as a historical monument of the earliest settlement of the county. At present that site is well-known and there would be no controversy as to its location and while such is the case it should be permanently marked.

    The Pioneers.

    It has been customary for your president to prepare an address to be read at our annual gatherings giving some of the acts and incidents connected with the early settlement of the county. This duty Mr. Walton and his predecessors have performed as well that there is little or nothing left to tell. The discomforts of the early settlers cannot be told in such a way that they can be realized. No one except those who were called upon to endure those discomforts can ever know or realize their extent nor can anyone only those who were participants in the struggle ever realize how rapidly those discomforts gave way to more modern methods of living as the country became settled and better transportation facilities were opened with other and older parts of the country. Among our hardy pioneers individuality was strongly marked and already among their descendants we find that society has slowly but surely molded itself into a more homogeneous mass. This peculiar cast of character among our early pioneers is easily accounted for. The conditions that attracted them here was peculiar. They came from every civilized land and nation and from every station in life. At the time the country was wild and remote and it had the reputation which it has so well sustained of being one of the most fertile regions on the earth and it attracted a marked type of men who have made for it a permanent place in history, a place not only unique but chivalrous. In their migration those early pioneers were not wholly actuated by a spirit of adventure. The better their condition and that of their families was the leading motive that governed their actions. They were made of that kind of metal that steels men and women to sever the ties of childhoods home and kindred and brave unknown dangers and to endure untold privations in a new unknown and strange country. Those old time dangers and hardships have been eliminated and we, their descendants, are enjoying the fruits of their labor and this should stimulate us to honor them and to cherish their memory and one of the best means to that end is to keep up an interest in this society and continue to make it as successful in the future as it has been in the past.

Address of Samuel McNutt.

Ex-Senator McNutt delivered the following address:

    Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen; On the annual meeting of Muscatine County’s Old Settlers’ society it is proper at times, to call to mind the record and the history made by those of our society who have gone to that “undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns”=those whose friendly hands we shall clasp no more, whose clear eyes shall never more survey the pleasant scenes of the western bank of our great river. And we may sing to the memory of those who sleep in the silent land Tennyson’s sad farewell to the stream of his youth slightly changed thus:

    Flow down, grand river, to the sea
    Thy tribute wave deliver:
    No more by thee their steps shall be,
    Forever and forever.

    A thousand suns shall shine on thee,
    A thousand moons shall quiver;
    No more by thee their steps shall be,
    Forever and forever.

    They were Choice Spirits.

    It is an old saying, older than the Christian era, “DeMortuis nil nisi bonum,” of the dead speak nothing but good, and on this occasion, in the few minutes assigned to me, it would be impossible to particularize the individual history of each member of this society, who in the passing year, has been taken from us by the angel of death. But in speaking of them collectively, I can say that they were among the choice spirits of our nation. They were like the majority of emigrants and settlers in a new country, the most enterprising and energetic citizens of our great republic. They were men and women of vitality and mental force, willing to meet the dangers and privations of life in the wilderness. Some of them may have had weaknesses and frailities and I may ask what mortal is there who has none? Frailities are shown in the lives of the most exalted natures of whom history tells us, who in the main were great and lovable characters. And our early settlers, with their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, their defeats and their triumphs are an instruction and an incentive, to their successors, toward a high and noble life.

    Each Act his Part.

    The wise man has said that the day of one’s death is better than the day of his birth. And the patient man has said his life is of few days and full of trouble. Our entrance into life beings us upon a stage where we must act our part according to the gifts with which nature has endowed us. Our brief life is filled with cares and griefs, hopes and disappointments, and when our play upon the stage of ….(article cut off)

*** continued on page 474 ***

“So live that when our summons come to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death
We go, not like the quarry slave at night
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and cheered
By an unfaltering trust, approach the grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”

I will here conclude by submitting the report of the committee on resolutions:


    Whereas. At the yearly meeting of the Old Settlers’ Society, it is appropriate to notice the passing away of those who have died since last we met, therefore.

    Resolved. That we remember with the highest regard our honored members whom the angel of death has taken from our midst, during the past twelve months, among whom may be named our worthy and highly honored president, J.P. Walton, and vice-president, Samuel W. Stewart.

    Resolved. That while we deeply feel the lack of their presence with us, we esteem and cherish their memory, and desire to convey to their relatives, our sincere condolence, in their sad bereavement.

Fifty-One Deaths.

At a later period the following sad mortuary list was read by Peter Jackson, secretary of the society:

The report of the secretary showed that the grim reaper had been at work and before his blade fifty-one had fallen. Since the last meeting the following are reported as passing away.

J.P. Walton Elizabeth Mark John Lewis
Samuel Sennett Grandma Neal George Schmidt
George Magoon Mrs. Quag Mrs. Mary Fahey
Henry Meyers Mrs. Kile Gongolf Goergen
W.D. Cone Mrs. Lawlor John Neibert Sr.
T.J. Maxwell Mrs. W.K. Bekey Mrs. Garnes
W.S. Richie Mrs. Mahoney Mrs. Gilbert
David Johnson Henry Nickles Elmus Day
Peter Wingert Jacob Liebrand Mrs. Wm. Hubbard
Charles Logan Mrs. Price Mrs Jane Madden
W.L. Bliven James Brisbine Mrs. Fred Phelps
A.G. Townsley George W. Dillaway Joseph Nelson
Fred Phelps Nathan Smith Listed below were hand written
James F. Schenck Aristarchus Cone Nalesapollis Cone
W.C. Brewster Mrs. Bertha Grossheim Col. Rink
Mrs. Kate Stone John Huntsberger Mark Kolling
Emily Moxley Dr. D.P. Johnson Mrs. Ingersol
I.D. Vore Solomon F. Conaway Mrs. J.E. Fletcher
Wm. Callahan Mrs. Mary McEvoy  

*** another article found on Page 477 ***

Concluding Proceedings of Annual Gathering at the Fair Grounds.

Ex-Senator M’Nutt, President
Several More Interesting Papers and Impromptu Speeches-
List of Persons Present-one of the best gatherings in its history.

The Journal’s account of the gathering at the fair grounds of the old settlers of Muscatine county yesterday (Sept 26th, 1900) was necessarily incomplete in yesterday’s issue.

Reference was made to the inclement weather which caused a complete failure of the forenoon session and no doubt greatly diminished the number at the afternoon session. However, as the clouds cleared away, the number increased and some of those in attendance spoke of it as one of the most interesting gatherings of the kindly volunteered as a choir to furnish music on this occasion were Mrs. C. Weed, Mrs. Ella W. Thompson, Miss Baird, Miss Brigham, Dr. H.M. Dean, M.P. Goff, E.F. Richman, with Miss Richards at the organ.

Yesterday’s account gave in full President Fultz’ excellent address and Ex-Senator McNutt’s fine literary paper. Mrs. Weed’s paper was well written and abounded in good things. It will be published to-morrow as lack of space forbids to-day.

On motion the meeting thanked Mrs. Weed for her paper.

President Fultz read a thoughtful original poem, which will also be published tomorrow.

Miss Jessie Cook, daughter of the late E.U. Cook, was called by the president for a paper and responded with a well-prepared one on “The Home,” to be published later.

After the reading of this paper, which called forth applause, President Fultz said it would be in order to call on any one for remarks.

Judge Richman Speaks.

Judge J. Scott Richman was called for. He reluctantly responded and alluded feelingly to those who during the year have passed away. Each name suggested to him sode thoughts characteristics of them. The Judge and there seemed to be a general unrest throughout the world, and in this connection he referred to the Chinese problem and expressed the belief that because of their greater numbers if they were skilled soldiers they could conquer the balance of the world. In the course of his remarks Judge Richman suggested that future meetings of the old settlers had best be arranged with a view that they be held in some hall in the city, so that those desiring to attend need not be deterred by prospect of bad weather. This suggestion was subsequently adopted as the sense of the meeting. Lindley Hoopes was next called on for a speech. He said he was glad to be here; he always enjoyed himself at these meetings & consouby sorry that on account of the inclement of the family were not ….He said he had passed his 85th milestone, a privilege granted to but few, and he greatly rejoiced at his good health and strength at such an age.

Peter Jackson Called Out.

Peter Jackson was called on and congratulated the old settlers on the pleasure of meeting in such a gathering once more. In subsequent remarks Mr. Jackson stated that the old settlers society of Muscatine was organized in 1856, after the death of Arthur Washburn. He also referred to the hard winter of 1842-43, when ice was found around a well in the rear of Ogilvie’s store as late as May 1st, 1843.

John Mahin Also Called For.

John Mahin was called on and said it was fitting to have an old settlers gathering in the year 1900, which is the link between the 19th and 20th centuries and a proper time to retrospect the past and look forward with hope to the future. He spoke of the appearance of Muscatine (or Bloomington) when he first saw it, over fifty years ago, and of the surrounding country, and mentioned some of the changes that have taken place since that time.

Some further remarks concerning pioneer days were made by Charles Chaplin, Peter Jackson and President Fultz.

Officers Elected.

The election of officers being in order. The following were chosen:

    President-Hon. S. McNutt.
    Vice-President-W.S. Fultz.
    Secretary and Treasurer-Peter Jackson.

On motion of John B. Lindle, the thanks of the society were voted to Schmidt Bros. for the use of an organ.

A collection was taken up which the President said was more than sufficient to meet all expenses.

At two intervals during the session excellent music was furnished on the auto-harp by Francis Fultz.

These Were There.

As near as could be ascertained the following persons were in attendance, where figures are placed opposite the ....(article cut off)..

The following names were hand written, found on page 477:

    Mrs. Laura T. Mann 1850
    P R W. Leverich 1838
    Mrs Addie Jarvis 1848
    Grace W Bumgardner 1858
    Mrs F. Warfield 1859
    Eduard J. Bumgardner 1858

Back to Book One, INDEX

Back to the Muscatine Co. IAGenWeb, Index Page